Belfast Telegraph

Gardai seek recruits north of the border
3,000 are sought in new campaign

By Jonathan McCambridge
26 November 2004

The Garda has launched their first ever recruitment drive for trainee police officers from Northern Ireland, it emerged today.

The Republic's police force has placed an advertisement in the Jobfinder section of today's Belfast Telegraph and also in the Irish News seeking 3,000 new recruits.

The Garda recruitment campaign could attract those who are unwilling to join the PSNI or who have been turned down because the PSNI is oversubscribed.

The advertisement for An Garda Siochana is seeking applicants for a two year trainee programme.

The annual salary for trained officers starts at €22,523 - significantly below the starting rate for PSNI officers.

The PSNI recently said that it had achieved success in attracting southern applicants.

A Garda spokesman said: "We have had applicants from Northern Ireland before but it is the first time we have actively sought recruits north of the border."

DUP Policing Board member Sammy Wilson said: "You may well find people who have been left disappointed because of 50/50 recruitment in the PSNI could get a career in the Garda - it would be the ultimate irony.

"At least they seem to be recruiting on merit and are not subject to the same politically correct mechanisms which exist here.

"I was talking to senior Garda officials this week and they told me that many of the PSNI officers who are taking redundancy here would be snapped up in the South."

SDLP Policing spokesman Alex Attwood said: "A wider membership of the Garda from the North must be welcomed.

"The PSNI is already attracting people from the South and this broadens the base of policing throughout Ireland," Mr Attwood added.

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